GSK to supply essential medicines to Russia, halt clinical trials

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GSK logo is seen in this illustration taken on January 17, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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March 17 (Reuters) - Britain's GSK (GSK.L) will keep supplying essential medicines and vaccines in Russia but halt clinical trials, following sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, joining other drugmakers that have taken similar steps.

The London-listed company will not start any new clinical trials in Russia or enrol more patients into existing studies, an update on its website showed on Thursday.

The healthcare sector has not pulled out of the country as medicines and medical devices and equipment are considered necessary for humanitarian reasons and are excluded from sanctions.

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Merck (MRK.N), Pfizer (PFE.N), Eli Lilly (LLY.N), Novartis (NOVN.S) and Abbvie (ABBV.N) are also pausing investments or scaling back their businesses in Russia. read more

GSK added it had stopped advertising for products in Russia and will stop promotion-related activities as well, while any profits from its Russian operations will be used for humanitarian relief efforts.

The company has no manufacturing operations in Russia or Ukraine and has limited supply chain, raw material reliance on the two nations, a spokesperson told Reuters last month.

Annual group sales from Russia and Ukraine total more than 500 million pounds ($658.65 million).

($1 = 0.7591 pounds)

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Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Vinay Dwivedi

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